MPI Minister Needs To Pull Finger On Mycoplasma Bovis

New Zealand  First says the Government needs to step up over Mycoplasma bovis.

“MPI and its Minister are treating this as a cattle-only problem when it needs to be industry wide,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland, Rt Hon Winston Peters. 

“While sheep cannot catch this disease, they have been shown in studies to be vectors for it.

“Given incubation periods and how infectious this disease is among cattle, it brings into question everything from stock trucks to those who have worked with infected animals.  We need to ask if National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) is doing its job.

“We also need to know urgently if Mycoplasma bovis could have entered the country via infected bull semen or embryos.  If that’s the case then they all need to be traced as they could be on farms as far apart as Northland to Southland by now.  We just don’t know.

“Our massive export industry in artificial breeding is now seriously at risk, yet on The Country, all Minister Guy could do was to blame NZ First with the wild claim National is spending more on Biosecurity than ever before. 

“That’s bull dust to hide his incompetence and failed advocacy for farming in an urban dominated National Cabinet.

“National’s total Biosecurity spend this year, even after taking into account inflation and Mr Guy’s Biosecurity Clearance Levy, is less than what the last Labour Government spent on Biosecurity in 2008/9.  That was also a government NZ First had more than a hand in.

“National heavily slashed Biosecurity on taking office in 2008 and the chickens are all coming home to roost at once. 

“New Zealand First wanted to support the Biosecurity Clearance Levy, but Mr Guy would not guarantee a taxpayer boost in Biosecurity spending and history has proven us right,” says Mr Peters.